Beta Upsilon Chi is enjoying a successful fall semester thus far from recruiting to its founding party to a brother’s initiation in Order of Omega. They are an nontraditional fraternity but their brotherhood is strong.
Beta Upsilon Chi is a national fraternity for men seeking brotherhood and unity in Christ. Its founding verse sets the fraternity’s tone: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1) The BYX chapter at University of Mississippi was founded in 2007.
“We only started with six guys.” David May, BYX recruiting chair said, “(We) have now worked our way up to 46 men with the new pledge class included.”
BYX’s recruitment commenced Sept. 21st and the fraternity welcomed 20 men on Sept. 28th. The fraternity began recruitment with an information meeting at Paris-Yates chapel. For interested members there is no sign-up, commitment or fee required to attend but the attire is business casual.
May explained the fraternity’s recruitment: “In our recruitment we don’t focus on one specific type of guy. Our members do not all fit one particular mold but rather represent a wide range of interests and backgrounds.”
May said the fraternity’s brotherhood is not based on a superficial characteristics and interests but rather on the common bond of Jesus Christ. It then tends to look for men wanting to further their spiritual walk with Christ.
Kenneth Warren, BYX’s president, recalls joining BYX: “I joined BYX in the fall of 2011. I knew I wanted to grow my Christian faith while at Ole Miss but wasn’t sure exactly what I needed to do to continue to grow my faith. What finally sold me were the retreats and the college-aged men who reached out to me and played a significant role in shaping me into who I am today.”
Warren clarified that BYX is not a replacement for a church community. Rather its primary goal is to be recognized as a social fraternity comprised of Christian men seeking bonds of brotherhood and unity through Christ.
“What I have found is that BYX is a great catalyst for not only maintaining but also strengthening a man’s Christian faith during his college years,” said Warren.
“We are Christian in that we focus on accountability and strengthening our relationships with Christ, while serving as a light for Him on campus.” Mays said, “We are social in that we participate in many aspects of traditional Greek life including formals, date parties, philanthropy events, retreats, and open parties.”
After welcoming its new pledge BYX then held the Island Party, a nationwide tradition started by the first BYX chapter at University of Texas, to celebrate the fraternity’s founding day. The Island Party is its biggest annual event in the fall. The men and those who enjoy them came together in the Grove on Oct. 7th. They had several bands perform on the Grove stage as well food and games for all who attended. The annual party is open to those who want to attend in the future.
Its biggest fundraising event is StarBYX (pronounced like ‘Starbucks’). BYX partner with Pi Beta Phi to sell coffee, donuts and hot chocolate to raise money for its philanthropy: Oxford Medical Ministries, and Pi Beta Phi’s philanthropy: Read. Lead. Achieve. StarBYX is held in a coffeehouse.
“We even get local musicians to play for us,” said Mays. He explains that instead of being isolated organization on campus BYX tries to integrate with the existing Greek life on campus as much as possible by participating in charity fundraising.
BYX also participates in Phi Mu’s annual charity fundraiser, Bonnamu, which is a battle of bands between fraternities. Last year BYX won third place and first place this year.
“We also have several brothers in the Order of Omega representing the top three percent of the Greek community on campus,” said May. Recently Kyle Otte was invited to join Order of Omega to join active brothers David May, Chuck Rainey and Corey Schaal in the Greek honors society honoring members for giving to their respective organization as well as to the community.
The fraternity is relatively young but it is making strides. Its faculty advisor is Ken Cyree, dean of the business school at University of Mississippi. He was involved in a Christian faculty group when he heard that BYX needed a faculty advisor. He was willing to help. His duties are autonomous for most part but Cyree wishes he could do more to help the young men despite his travel schedule. He is however proud of them.
“I love the fact that BYX is a fraternity with a Christian focus to show that college students can still have a great social experience while avoiding things that go against their faith.” Cyree said, “It is a wonderful organization and I am proud of the young men who take the integration of their faith and educational experience seriously.”
Callie Daniels is a staff reporter for HottyToddy.com. She can be reached about this article at email@example.com.
Beta Upsilon Chi: A Christian Brotherhood
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